An outside swell over the holiday week kept the cod inshore for most tides and those who braved the cold during a night session were rewarded with fish to 6lb from the beaches and low water marks. The piers generally produced smaller cod, but with lots of whiting, dab, and flounders present, it was these species that tended to get to any baits before the cod did. The rivers Wear and Tyne are producing cod and whiting in the calmer conditions, most are around the 1lb to 2lb mark, but both rivers also have a lot of undersize specimens present and anglers have reported double figure catches of these smaller fish.
Hartlepool H.W.C.S.A.C. recent match saw nine members weigh-in mixed bags of cod, whiting, flounders and dabs for a total of 27lb 9oz. Mal McGeorge won with a bag of cod and whiting for 10lb, including the heaviest fish; a cod of 4lb 13oz. Steve Brown had a similar mixed bag for 7lb 3oz in second place while third placed Paul Blair had two cod for 3lb 5oz. Marc Wallace in fourth had a single cod for 2lb 3oz.
Horden Buffs Surfcasters had a good weigh in last week. Wayne Smith won with three cod for 9lb 15oz ahead of Eric Williams who had two cod, best 5¼lb, and a single whiting for 9lb 6oz and Paul Peacock with three cod for 7½lb.
Horden Mechanics also had a match but struggled to find the cod with only two weighing in. Sean Stephenson had a single cod, a bass and a plaice for 5lb and Ged Barker had a flounder of 10oz.
Cleadon A.C. fished last week with only five out of twenty-seven finding fish. John Newcombe had two cod from the Tyne for 4lb 1oz to take first place. Runner-up Neil Cutler had two cod from South Shields pier for 3lb 2oz and in third Ollie Feenan had a single cod of 2¾lb from Whitburn which was joint heaviest fish with a cod taken by Paul Harrison from South Shields pier.
The Saltburn Open on Sunday saw a few cod landed from the popular rock edges around Boulby where there was a bit of shelter from the northerly swell. Twenty-one out of seventy-five weighed in seventeen cod, four coalfish, two flounders, two rockling, and a whiting for a total of 71lb. Paul Medd took first place with three cod for 9lb 9oz from Boulby. Steve L’Anson had an excellent cod of 8lb 7oz for second spot and the heaviest fish and Jeff Lainton was third with one cod of 7lb 5oz taken from Redcar Scar. Top lady was Vanessa Barker with a rockling of 4oz, and the team winners were Steve L’Anson and Chris Westgarth with 9lb 13oz.
The popular Amble Open is on Sunday January 3rd fishing from 9am till 1pm between Seahouses Pier and Lynemouth Pipe, all piers and rivers excluded except that disabled anglers may fish Amble Pier accompanied by their registered partner. Basic entry is £12 for all classes which includes the heaviest fish sweep. Register at the Radcliffe Club Amble from 7am till 9am with the weigh-in from 1pm till 2pm at the same venue. Top prizes for the heaviest bag are £600, £300, £150; heaviest fish £400, £200, £150; heaviest flatfish £150, £100, £50 and ladies £50, £30, £20 with a supporting prize table worth £3000. Anglers are reminded to keep any flatfish alive for returning and stewards will be in attendance to ensure that no litter is left behind. Bait can be ordered from The Amble Angling Centre, contact Norma on 01665-711200.